A week after an officer was killed in a northeast Indianapolis neighborhood, residents joined in for the first Peace in the Streets Parade. But people who live in the city's most violent area say it will take more than entertainment to create change.
"A lot of people are afraid to speak up because of retaliation from police or the gang members and stuff," said parade organizer Mary Manning.
The Peace in the Street Parade traveled from the Brightwood Community Center to Washington Park, all in the 46218 ZIP Code – an area IMPD numbers show leading the city in shootings and homicides.
Most recently, the area is where IMPD Officer Perry Renn was shot and killed.
"Once the parade is gone and all the dancing and all the music is gone, we're back to the same old norm where there's no jobs, there's nothing for these kids to do," said Fletcher Triplett.
Triplett mentors kids in the Brightwood neighborhood where he grew up. He says young men here need positive role models to show them the way.
"I knew [this kid] since he was in sixth grade, and I rode him, I wouldn't take no for an answer, and he graduated from high school," Triplett said. "Now he has a job and he's doing what he's got to do. This is my success story."
Triplett says having summer jobs gave him independence, a sense of pride and helped keep him out of trouble as a young man. He also says it's an opportunity that's hard to come by these days.
Triplett works with New Boy, a youth mentoring group. He believes if more young men interact positively with police without being in trouble, community relations will improve.
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